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Hudson-Mohawk Genealogical and Family Memoirs:
Rathbone — Rathbun

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[This information is from Vol. I, pp. 277-281 of Hudson-Mohawk Genealogical and Family Memoirs, edited by Cuyler Reynolds (New York: Lewis Historical Publishing Company, 1911). It is in the Reference collection of the Schenectady County Public Library at R 929.1 R45. Some of the formatting of the original, especially in lists of descendants, may have been altered slightly for ease of reading.]

The Rathbone family of England is an old and honorable one. For three hundred years a wealthy branch has resided in the city of Liverpool. The family is of Saxon origin in England, where they have been a distinct family for five hundred years. Transplanted to America, they have been honored citizens. The blazon of arms for the name Rathbone as given in Burke's General Armory is: Argent, three doves, azure. Crest: a dove with an olive branch in the beak all proper. The arms of the Liverpool family are: Ermine, on a fess, azure, between two roses in chief gules, barbed and seeded proper, and the Roman fasces fessways in front of a lion's head proper, gorged with a collar argent, charged with two roses gules. Motto: Suaviter et fortiter — mildly but firmly. While Richard Rathbone (1574) seems to be the first of the line in America, his son (1610) probably coming at the same time, the real history of the family begins with John, of Block Island (1634). He is identified with the early history of that island, of which he was one of the purchasers from Massachusetts, and one of the first sixteen settlers who landed on the island in 1662.

[Editorial note: Dave Rathbun alerts us that the theory that Richard was the first in America was proven wrong decades ago. See the Rathbone Register for information about John of Ditton, Lancashire, who came in 1654. Additional resources have been provided by Robert Rathbun of the Rathbun Rathburn Rathbone Family Historian, who sent Descendants of William Rathbone in Rich Text Format.]

(I) Richard Rathbone, born about 1574, so far as the records show, was the first of this family to settle in America. He married Marion Whipple, sister of Captain John Whipple, who mentioned her in his will, made at Ipswich, Essex county, Massachusetts, December 19, 1616. They had four sons, none of whom left issue (so far as learned) except John (see forward). The eldest son, Rev. William Rathbone, resided and preached in Vermont in 1630. He is spoken of in a work published in 1630 and reprinted in Historical Collections of Massachusetts. The sons mentioned were: William, Joseph, Thomas and John.

(II) John (1), son of Richard and Marion (Whipple) Rathbone, was born about 1610, in England most probably. He is said to have come from England to America in the ship "Speedwell," a vessel accompanying the "Mayflower" in 1620, and to have settled in Rhode Island. (Livermore's History of Block Island.) He married about 1633, and had a son John, perhaps others.

(III) John Rathbone (2), son of John (1), was born about 1634. He was one of those who on August 17, 1660, met at the house of John Alcock, M.D., in Roxbury, Massachusetts, to confer on the purchase of Block Island. He bought a sixteenth of the island in 1660, and settled there in 1662. His was one of the names presented to the Rhode Island general assembly in 1664, by Captain James Sand and Joseph Kent, in behalf of Block Island, for admission as freeman. In 1683 he was a representative from Block Island to the Rhode Island general assembly; June 16, 1686, he signed with others, a petition to the King of Great Britain in regard to the writ of "Quo Warranto," acknowledging full and free submission and resignation of the powers given in the charter, and asking to be discharged from all liens and contributions which the assembly would impose upon them in sending an agent to England, to which action the petitioners were opposed.

In 1688 he was a member of the grand jury of Rhode Island. He married Margaret, daughter of Tristram Dodge. Their issue was:

  1. Thomas,
  2. John (3), see forward;
  3. Sarah, wife of (first), Samuel George, (second), John Ball;
  4. William,
  5. Joseph and
  6. Samuel.

(IV) John (3), son of John (2) and Margaret (Dodge) Rathbone, was born in Roxbury, Massachusetts, about 1658. He was made a freeman of Rhode Island, and the same year was appointed a deputy to the general court from New Shoreham, Block Island, Rhode Island. He was deputy from 1681 to 1684, and surveyor of highways in 1686. Just before his marriage he received a deed from his father to sixty acres of land, the consideration being "One barrel of pork." From some old records we find that "Great James and his wife" (Indians) bound their daughter Betsey to John Rathbone and his wife Ann, as an indentured servant, for a term of eighteen years, the consideration being "one gallon of rum, one blanket in hand, and five years afterward one gallon of rum yearly thereafter, and if she remains five years the said Rathbone to pay four blankets every third year thereafter." He testified April 28, 1717, in relation to a seizure by the pirate Paulgrove Williams, of three men who were with him in a boat on the bay at the time of the seizure. He was twice married, (first) June 20, 1680, to ————, (second) November 11, 1686, to Ann Dodge. His children were: Mercy, Jonathan, John, Joshua (see forward), Benjamin, Anna, Nathaniel and Thomas.

(V) Rev. Joshua Rathbone, son of John (3) and Ann (Dodge) Rathbone, was born at Newport colony, of Rhode Island. He was twice married. He married (first) November 30, 1721, Martha Card, born April 6, 1699, daughter of Job and Martha (Acres) Card. She bore him a son Joshua. He married (second) February 17, 1724, Mary, daughter of Rev. Valentine Wightman, of Groton, Connecticut, the first Baptist minister in Connecticut. By his second wife Rev. Joshua was the father of twelve children: Joshua (see forward); Valentine W., Martha, John, Daniel, Jacob, Job, Martha, Amos, Anna, Susannah and Wait. These children were born between May 17, 1722, the birth date of Joshua, and August 18, 1744, the birthday of the youngest. John (5) became a minister of the gospel, preaching at Saratoga, New York, at the age of ninety-five. He died from the effects of a fall. He was a patriot of the revolution, a member of the Stonington committee of correspondence and inspector, and signer of the memorial to the Connecticut Assembly, praying for cannon to protect the town of Stonington against British attack.

(VI) Joshua (2), son of Rev. Joshua (1) and Martha (Cord) Rathbone, was born on Block Island, May 17, 1724, and died at Stonington, Connecticut, August 14, 1801. He was known as "Joshua of the wind mill", he being the owner of a grist mill run by wind power at Stonington Point. He was a good and pious man, belonging to the Society of Friends. In an old yellow-leafed Bible, in which the records of Joshua's family were kept, is the following, written in a good hand with many flourishes: "Stonington, January the 27th day, A. D., 1755. This as an account of the age of my wife and children: 1. Joshua Rathbone Jr., was born upon Block Island in the year of our Lord 1724." Some genealogists give his birthplace as Stonington, and the year as 1722; his own written testimony ought to be conclusive. Joshua (2) married, March 4, 1742, Dorcas, born at South Kingston, September 17, 1721, died April 5, 1809, daughter of James Wells, of Hopkinton, Rhode Island. Children born of Joshua (2) and Dorcas Wells: Joshua (see forward), Martha, Dorcas Wells, Acors, Sarah, Mary, Anna.

(VII) Joshua (3), son of Joshua (2) and Dorcas (Wells) Rathbone; was born at Westerly, Rhode Island, August 11, 1743, and died November 23, 1773, at sea. He married, October 30, 1766, in Friends' meeting house, Sarah, born December 27, 1748, daughter of Abraham and Martha (Bagnal) Borden. Their children were: Joshua, Abraham, Borden, Acors (see forward); and Benjamin Bagnal. Joshua's widow, Sarah, married a Quaker minister, Peter Hoxie, whose widow she was at her death, March 29, 1828.

(VIII) Acors, third of the four sons of Joshua (3) and Sarah (Borden) Rathbone, was born in Stonington, Connecticut, January 25, 1772. It was in this generation that the spelling of the name became Rathbun. He was the founder of Rathbunville, Oneida county, New York.

He was married, February 12, 1794, to Sarah, born in South Kingston, November 28, 1777, died May 22, 1859, daughter of William and Mercy Peckham. They removed after their marriage to Richmond, Rhode Island, and in the winter of 1802 to Verona, Oneida county, New York, making the journey in an emigrant wagon. Their children were fourteen in number, born between November 24, 1794, and May 4, 1820; the first six were born in Rhode Island. Among them were:

  1. Joshua;
  2. William;
  3. Sarah Ann (married James Hallock);
  4. Dorcas, married (first) Richard Searing, (second) Henry Thomas;
  5. Perry;
  6. Benjamin;
  7. Mary Ann, married John B. Barr;
  8. Rowland and
  9. James.

Acors Rathbone's name is incorrectly given in Oneida county, New York, histories as Achus.

(IX) Solomon, son of Acors and Sarah (Peckham) Rathbun, was born in Rhode Island, June 30, 1799, and died in Springfield, Mass., November 9, 1861. He married, in New York state, Hannah, died in New York City, December 3, 1891, daughter of Daniel and Henrietta Quimby, of New York. Children:

  1. Acors (see forward).
  2. Daniel, born June 21, 1829, died September 8, 1862; married, September 9, 1851, Duelanna Wheeler, of Rome, New York.
  3. Emily, born September 26, 1831; married John L. Kipp, of New York City.
  4. Henry, born December 30, 1833, died December 24, 1852, in Verona, New York.
  5. Edward, born April 14, 1838; married, September 2, 1865, Maria Warner, of Verona, New York.
  6. George Jay, born September 6, 1840, died February 22, 1860.
  7. Milton, born August 3, 1844; married, February 5, 1873, Harriet Lee Eales, of Belmont, New York.
  8. Frank, born January 23, 1847; married, October 17, 1877, Charlotte N. Nims, of Troy, New York.
  9. Alice Naomi, born November 16, 1850; married Josiah Lombard of New York City (Harlem).

Solomon Rathbun was a very prominent man in Rathbunville, Oneida county, New York, settled by his father, Acors (Achus), in 1802. The town is now Verona Mills. Solomon owned a flourishing mill, woolen factory and a store. Wells, another son of Acors, lived to be the oldest inhabitant of the town.

(X) Acors, eldest son of Solomon and Hannah (Quimby) Rathbun, was born in Rathbunville, now Verona Mills, Oneida county, New York, August 29, 1827. The town was founded by his grandfather Acors (1) Rathbun in 1802. He received a good education, and was trained to habits of industry and thrift by his father, and gained in his store and other business enterprises the experience that was to make him in later years the successful business man he was. He came to Albany, where he entered the employ of his uncle Joshua Rathbun, then one of the largest hardware dealers in the lumber district of Albany. He was later admitted a partner, and on the death of Joshua succeeded him in the business, remaining the active and capable head until 1900, when he retired from active effort. He was a director of the Mechanics National Bank, the Albany Savings Bank, the Mutual Fire Insurance Company, and was interested in other corporations and business enterprises of the city. He belonged to the Fort Orange Club, and was a warm friend of the various church and philanthropic bodies for the betterment of his fellows. He was a good citizen, and left the impress of his commendable character upon his associates and friends. He was president of the board of trustees of the Second Presbyterian Church of Albany, and for forty-four years worshipped with his wife at that church, occupying the same pew during that long period. His love of all things good and beautiful, his cultured mind and great desire to use his wealth fairly and justly, were prominent traits of his character. The resolutions and memorials adopted by the various boards of directors and trustees of which he was a member show that he was held in the very highest esteem as a capable man of business, a wise counselor, a faithful friend, and a courteous gentleman.

He married, August 19, 1857, Eliza C. Burrell, of Little Falls, Herkimer county, New York (see Burrell), who survives him, a resident of Albany. They had one child, Ormenda Burrell, born July 13, 1858, died January 21, 1901, married, June 4, 1892, in Albany, New York, Joseph Yates Page, son of Joseph C. Page, of Albany, and great-grandson of Governor Yates, of New York. They located in Washington, D. C., where Mr. Page was connected with the comptroller's office under Secretary of the Treasury Eccles, later were of Seattle, Washington, then returned to Albany, where Mr. Page died January 13, 1901, followed one week later by his wife. Mrs. Page was an accomplished, cultured lady, possessed of every womanly attribute, and was deeply regretted. Their daughter, L. Eliza Rathbun Page, born in Seattle, Washington, March 16, 1892, is a senior of Wellesley Hall, Massachusetts (1909). She is the companion of Mrs. Acors Rathbun in her Albany home and on her tours of Europe and Alaska.

Eliza C. (Burrell) Rathbun was educated in Packer Institute, Brooklyn, New York, and Utica Female Seminary. She resided in Albany, New York, where they had a beautiful home on Willett street, where hospitality was unbounded. Chief executives were entertained on many occasions, and a circle of friends of kindred tastes made welcome. Always of charitable impulses, since the death of her husband, daughter, and son-in-law, Mrs. Rathbun has devoted her life to good works along philanthropic and charitable lines, not alone with her wealth, but with constant personal work. Every Thursday evening she teaches a class of three hundred and fifty at the Rensselaer Mission; for seventeen years she has taught in the Sunday school, starting with four, the class now numbering seventy-five. There is no public or private charity in the city that has not been substantially aided by her — missions, schools, hospitals, churches, none are turned away; the need has only to be shown and the response is ready. In all this work there is one that lies nearest her heart, the Young Women's Christian Association. In 1888 it was brought to her notice that young women temporarily in the city, and self-sustaining girls, should have a home provided them where they would be sheltered and cared for under good influences, yet at a price within their means. Meeting with cordial sympathy and material support from her husband, she launched the Young Women's Christian Association in two rooms, April 20, 1888. The association was incorporated in 1890; larger quarters very soon were needed, again and again, until now they are quartered in a building of their own at the corner of Lodge and Steuben streets, with spacious parlors, reading rooms, restaurant, bedrooms for temporary and permanent guests, a library of 2,209 volumes, seven instructors, two secretaries, and a corps of able helpers in every department. Classes for instruction are maintained, each with a capable specialist to instruct in Bible study, vocal music, domestics science, plain sewing, millinery, embroidery, and physical education. The association (1909) has six hundred members, fifty-one of whom are sustaining, three hundred and ninety-six active, and one hundred and fifty-three associate members, drawn from every church denomination. The government includes the executive officers, a board of thirty managers, with an executive committee, advisory board, and a board of trustees. With the exception of the advisory board, these officers are all women. For twenty-three years Mrs. Rathbun has been president, and to her untiring energy and generosity success may be ascribed. In 1907 she caused to be erected, adjoining the Home, a gymnasium, in honor of her late husband's memory. This is said to be the very best equipped ladies' gymnasium in existence anywhere. No feature of the equipment of a modern gymnasium is omitted. The association is affiliated with the National Young Women's Christian Association organizations, which assures members the added benefits of similar advantages when away from home. To the development of this and other undertakings Mrs. Rathbun devotes her life and finds her greatest enjoyment. Every hour of the day is occupied, as she holds official connection with many organizations. In earlier years she traveled extensively, visiting every country of Europe, as well as thoroughly touring the United States, Alaska and part of South America. Her acquaintance with men and women of philanthropic and literary fame extends to many lands, among whom her noble philanthropies are recognized and approved. After the death of her husband she gave up the Willett street mansion, and resides in apartments at 355 State street, Albany.

(The Burrell Line)

The family of Burrell settled in Herkimer county, New York, in the year 1804, when Jonathan Burrell located at what was then called "Yankee Corners," a point that was the business center of the town of Salisbury. He came with his family from Sheffield, Berkshire county, Massachusetts, and carried on various branches of business. The village became known as "Burrells Corners," and is still so called, although there is little to distinguish it now from the surrounding country. One of his sons, W. F. Burrell, who was born there in 1818, became the proprietor of Burrell's Mills, and was extensively engaged in the manufacture of cheese boxes, broom handles, lumber, etc. He was supervisor of the town in 1872-73. Jonathan Burrell married Lucinda Kellogg and had several children.

(II) Harry, son of Jonathan and Lucinda (Kellogg) Burrell, was born in Sheffield, Massachusetts, November 28, 1797, and died at Little Falls, New York, March 5, 1879. He was part of the family who emigrated from Massachusetts to the town of Salisbury, Herkimer county, New York, in 1804. He was engaged in farming and in business with his father until the death of the latter, when he succeeded to possession of the old homestead, known as the Hackley farm. When he was not yet of legal age his neighbors solicited him to take charge of and sell their dairy products, which were drawn to Albany on wagons and thence transported to New York City in sloops. He began the purchase of cheese and other dairy products, and from this beginning became the largest buyer and shipper in the country. As his business increased, he established a house on Front street, New York City, under the firm name of H. Burrell & Company. His acquaintance with Erastus Corning and other prominent men of the day brought forth the suggestion of exporting dairy products. Mr. Burrell embraced the idea and began the business of exporting cheese, formed strong connections with foreign houses, and was probably the first shipper of dairy products to foreign markets from the United States. His domestic and foreign business was very extensive, and in the country and city demanded the constant attention of himself and sons, who as they grew up were all taken into the business. He continued a large buyer and shipper until near the close of his long, busy, useful life of eighty-two years. He was one of the best of men, and his name was the synonym for honesty and integrity, and his bond was no better than his word. He was the adviser and friend of every man in the community, and was trusted implicitly. He was very wealthy, owning seventeen farms. Charitable and generous, he was the chief pillar of the Presbyterian Church at both Salisbury and Little Falls, where he built a handsome residence and removed in 1852. He was president of the church board of trustees, and of Little Falls Academy. He died at Little Falls, and while his remains lay in the family vault, some desperate villains, hoping for a large reward, stole the body and secreted it. They were, however, run down, captured, and the body recovered. Two of the gang were sentenced to prison for ten years and five for seven years at hard labor.

He married Ormenda, daughter of Colonel Carr, of the war of 1812, and his wife, Hannah Hakes, the latter bearing the title of the "smartest woman in the country." Children:

  1. Seymour, deceased.
  2. Malvin, deceased.
  3. Isaac, deceased.
  4. Hannah, wife of Stephen Millar, of Constableville, Lewis county, New York;
  5. Nancy, wife of Dr. Humphrey, a physician and missionary, whom she accompanied to India and remained for five years. The doctor was also a minister, and preached in Hindoostanee. They now live a retired life at Little Falls, New York.
  6. Eliza, of further mention.
  7. Harry (2).

The sons were all associated in business with their father, and continued in it after his death, although not upon the same extensive scale.

(III) Eliza, sixth child of Harry and Ormenda (Carry Burrell, was born in Herkimer county, New York, June 6, 1833. She married Acors Rathbun, and was the mother of one daughter, Ormenda (2) (see Rathbun).

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